Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



lindsey-naegleInterviewed James Taylor yesterday. Not overly familiar with his oeuvre, but he was a really cool guy and a very gracious interviewee. His PR people too, were very professional and did an excellent job in making sure I was prepped and ready and that everything went smoothly. So I’m not having a go at them by any means – just thinking aloud about something that didn’t make much sense to me. About half an hour before the interview was due to go ahead, I got a call from his head P.R. lady (or whatever the hell she was) in L.A. letting me know that everyone in their office there was really excited that we were doing the interview. Just that. Nothing more.

As it happened, I was fairly hungover yesterday and not particularly excited about interviewing anybody. And I’m pretty sure James Taylor – with his gold records and his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame blah blah blah – wasn’t exactly lying awake the night before, eagerly anticipating being interviewed by some gobshite from Ballyhaunis. So why on earth would a bunch of people in an office all the way over in California be in such a tizzy? They weren’t, obviously.

The call was some sort of professional courtesy. I’m not stupid. I get that. But what the hell was it intended to communicate? If it had been an Irish person making that call, I gotta say that I’d have considered it slightly passive-aggressive behavior. But given that she was calling from L.A., well, who knows what the fuck anyone over there ever really means.

Anyone any ideas?

May 21st, 2009.


  1. El Kid Says:

    Passive-aggressive might be an exxageration but yeah shit like that is pretty par for the course with PRs and in business generally. its like a way of mkaing it so that if you later do something they don’t like, they can act even more outraged because they had such high hopes going in. if that makes sense?

  2. Andreas Says:

    Yeh, it’s that “killing you with kindness” bullshit. I.e., after their double niceness offensive, you were supposed to feel doubly cuntish about possibly saying anything negative in the article. Actually, the most likely explanation is that she is from L.A. and has barbituates instead of blood.

  3. Paul Says:

    I wish it had been his agent who called so that you could have used a picture of MacArthur Parker.

  4. Eoin Says:

    Haha…never even thought of him Paul. Here’s the best I got: http://www.kerwinso.com/troymcclure/troyparker.jpg

  5. Lisa Says:

    I think in a lot of ways North Americans are just a lot more innocent and enthusiastic about things, which doesn’t gel well with the suspicious Irish national character. “Are ya takin’ the piss, wha’?”

  6. Colin Says:

    That is a strange one. I could see the PR playing angles if you were interviewing a controversial artist. But James Taylor !

    I’d have asked him about being on The Simpsons (when it was good) and doing Sesame Street. Suppose you had to talk about his musical career though…

  7. AJ Moloney Says:

    Americans are weirdly nice. I was in NYC with the wife (herself an American) when this guy walked past me and remarked how nice my hat was.

    So, being Irish, I automatically assumed he was taking the piss out of me. “Hey! Fuck off, you prick.” I replied. He slunk off, visibly crestfallen.

    Maybe he *had* really liked my hat.

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